Thursday, 4 May 2017

Armour day 1. Battle stories, bravado and lies

Standing Tall. Part of the Armour project

Something magical happens when you give yourself permission to get your hands dirty- whether in the garden, or making art. This afternoon, we saw M transform as his hands got covered in charcoal dust, water and red ink, the joy of play, of experiment, the delight in making a deliberate or random mark on paper, embracing mistakes.  The world outside with its problems disappears. Its something that Phil and I have witness many times, but I never tire of it. Our society often dismissed play for adults as un-productive, petty or even a guilty pleasure. But without play, how can you be creative? it also important for problem solving and relationships, and just for moments of pleasure.

Standing Tall, detail. 

Armour is a new project based at Booth Centre, a day centre that offers activities, support and advice for homeless people in Manchester.  Today we investigated the word Armour, and started to record on paper the many responses.

Kill them before they kill me
movement sight smell
educate myself
dog eat cat
educate myself be
succinct in life
got to choice the rite road in life
and I will
stick to it
A friend murdered 97 injuries
I've felt witnessed seen
affected me big time.....

My Shield, part of Armour project

(ex-Marine, extract from un-edited writing at Booth Centre)

As many different takes on the word Armour as there were people in the group. Group members went on to paint, draw, smudge their poetic texts onto paper patterns

Old history     bullshitting
built to fit    jock straps
heavy restricting    boxing gloves 
gladiators   gangsters
battle stories   bravado and lies

(Stephen Beech,  extract from un-edited poem)

It felt a good start, getting to know each other, building trust, exploring the theme. I look forward to next week. Thanks again to The Booth Centre for making this possible and Arts Council England for supporting the project.

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